Moral policing; AP bans women’s entry into pubs after 10 pm

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HYDERABAD, May 4, 2013, DHNS:

In an effort to discourage pub owners from attracting too many youngsters with offers like free drinks for women, Andhra Pradesh, one of the largest consumers of beer and cheap liquor in the country, has decided to ban the entry of women into clubs, pubs and bars after 10 pm.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has issued notification not to serve drinks to women at pubs, clubs and bars after 10 pm in the state. The normal closing timing of such liquor outlets here is 11 pm.

The notification, signed by the excise commissioner, adds that outlets are also directed not serve any “free drinks” to women, and not conduct any special events that extend beyond 10 pm.

The excise department has also threatened to cancel licences of liquor outlets if women are served liquor in the name of a welcome drink or are given entry into pubs and bars after 10 pm. The notification also specifies that all those below 21 years of age are also banned from bars and pubs, and outlets hosting events offering “free liquor” to women may also be blacklisted.

Police officials say these steps have been taken in the light of a spate of incidents outside bars and nightclubs involving drunken women quarrelling with auto-rickshaw drivers near taxi stands at night.  DGP Dinesh Reddy says the notification also aims at curbing teenage crime — attacks on women, stealing and snatching, as well as rapes, which have been on the rise in Hyderabad and neighbouring district towns.

Last month, women students from a law institute had created a ruckus outside a pub in Jubilee Hills, which attracted media attention. Later, they also reportedly attacked staff of a news channel for reporting the brawl . Police have registered cases under relevant sections of the law against the students, as well as some employees of the liquor outlet who allegedly supported the girls in the attack.

There are nearly 1.2 lakh women employed in the IT sector and about three lakh women in textiles and cottage industries in and around Hyderabad. And women’s organisations have termed the new law “chauvinistic” and “anti-women

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